Kilbourne Hole


Kilbourne Hole (, one of the most interesting geological formations in the Las Cruces–El Paso area, is a volcanic maar formed from a 180,000–yr old volcanic explosion.

If you're a rock hound, you'll love Kilbourne Hole. It's treasure trove of multiple textures and colors of volcanic rock.

Once we get to Kilbourne Hole, we will split into two groups: one walking the Jeep road around the crater, and one descending into the crater. Interest permitting we may have a group that does both.

Kilbourne Hole is quite frankly in the middle of nowhere, some 30 miles southwest of Las Cruces in the Chihuahua desert. There is no cell phone service (last I checked). If you have a high clearance or 4WD vehicle, please let us know and help us carpool. Kilbourne Hole is accessible by 2WD vehicle but we will need to mind sandy spots. Because of this, it is important your RSVP is accurate. Please do not show up without RSVPing, and please do not say you are coming and not show up.

From the meeting points in town, we'll carpool to an intermediate meeting point (TBA between drivers—somewhere in Santa Teresa?) and head out to Kilbourne Hole.

DISTANCE is ~7 mi round-trip, around the crater. Perhaps ¼ mile, if that, to the bottom of the crater.

ELEVATION GAIN is the hole itself is some 800 feet deep. Walking around the crater, the elevation change is negligible.

FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!

DURATION: Finish by early/mid afternoon.

PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash), and if you'd like to unleash, ask others before you do so. Warning: the volcanic rock is very, very rough on your pets feet.

SKILL LEVEL is reasonably beginner friendly, if you are walking around the crater. Going into the crater requires light rock scrambling.

TERRAIN Sand and volcanic rock.

WEATHER is TBA. If the weather is windy the day of, it is likely we will cancel.

AFTERWARDS we'll see. Perhaps an afternoon at one of the wineries along Highway 28?

MEET for carpool at:

Las Cruces: 8:00 am, in/outside Milagro Coffee at Pan Am Plaza. See map (OpenStreetMap ( or Google Maps (,-106.745166&aq=&sll=32.304328,-106.770802&sspn=0.057166,0.086174&ie=UTF8&ll=32.28755,-106.745288&spn=0.014929,0.021544&t=h&z=16)).

El Paso: 8:30 am, in the southwest corner of Carls Jr parking lot at Artcraft and Interstate 10. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (,-106.58385) (see on Google Maps (,-106.58385&z=18), OpenStreetMap (, USGS topo map (,-106.58385&marker0=31.88206,-106.58385&z=18))

MORE information:

Kilbourne Hole at the BLM (